Kenya moves to ease citizenship requirements for stateless persons, migrants

10 Feb 17

KENYA

IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Kenya has made it easier for stateless persons, migrants and their descendants to obtain citizenship.

What does the change mean? A new regulation allows authorities to waive fees and documentation requirements for stateless persons, migrants and their descendants who are applying for citizenship and meet other qualifying criteria.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Stateless persons, migrants and their descendants seeking citizenship in Kenya.
  • Business impact: No significant impact.

Background: The change was made to provide the right to obtain citizenship to residents of Kenya who would otherwise be eligible for citizenship but who lacked proper documentation and, in some cases, the ability to pay the required government fees. After the regulation was issued, for example, members of the Makonde community, who have lived in Kenya for more than 50 years but were considered stateless persons, are now able to obtain citizenship.

BAL Analysis: The change will not have much of an impact on business, other than to facilitate evidencing the right to work of formerly stateless employees, but the eased processes are welcome news for those in Kenya who have had trouble obtaining citizenship because of a lack of supporting documents.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kenya. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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